2017 Outlook: The Rookie of the Year is only going to get better ... and his introduction to The Association was pretty impressive. As a 20-year-old, KAT was the only player to average 10 rebounds while shooting 80-percent from the free throw line, a rare skill set that allows for roster balance. His "big-man" numbers are going to be impressive, but don't rule out the potential for him to rank among the best at the Center position in both assists and three-point shooting. He's the complete package and his name belongs in this class.
2017 Outlook: Don't worry Boogie, we don't know what the Kings are doing either. Fortunately, we do know what you are doing and that is producing massive numbers across the board. Among players that will play in 2016, no player averaged more FGA per 48 minutes than the Kings center, a volume of shots that is becoming increasingly valuable as he made 86.4-percent of his career triples last season. Add that to consecutive seasons with at least three assists and three blocks-plus-steals per game, and we are talking about a rare talent.
2017 Outlook: Remember the last time he played 70 regular season games? Me neither ... it hasn't happened yet. He is essentially a slightly better version of Towns when it comes to scoring and defensive numbers that comes with health concerns. We've seen him produce at a level that would justify him being the second player off the board (February 2015), and given the lack of help he has in New Orleans, his well-rounded numbers are a safe bet as long as he is on the court.
2017 Outlook: With the Heat coughing up just shy of $100 million for his services and letting Dwyane Wade walk, it is clear that the plan is to create a winning team from the inside out. The rebound and block (more blocks per game than Rudy Gobert and DeMarcus Cousins combined for) totals are going to be nothing short of elite, which combines nicely with his scoring ceiling. He shot 75-percent from the charity stripe in the second half of last season to go along with attempting nearly 60-percent more free throw per game. If that growth is real, Whiteside is a prime candidate to become the first player to block three shots AND score 20 points a night since Alonzo Mourning/Shaquille O'Neal did it in the 1999-2000 season.
2017 Outlook: You know how hard it is to finish as the sixth player while finishing 131st in USG? That's what Green accomplished this past season due to his increased efficiency and his ability to impact games in a variety of ways. Will the addition of Durant cut into Green's growth? It's possible, but you're talking about a matchup nightmare that led one of the most potent offenses in recent memory in minutes per game.
2017 Outlook: He's an easy player to criticize, he ranked 42 of 47 centers in rebounds per 48 minutes, but don't automatically cross him off of your cheat sheet. The 20 points a night has value on the right roster and his solid percentages (51.1-percent from the field and 79.1-percent from the free throw line) will allow you to take a rebound specialist later on. Most would assume that a man allergic to rebounding doesn't contribute in the blocks department, but Lopez blocks 1.7 shots per game for his career. He also had more assists last season than he did in the four previous seasons combined, making him a better fantasy option than most want to believe.
2017 Outlook: Hopefully you enjoyed getting him at a discount last season because his price tag is going to be significantly steeper this season. And why wouldn't it? The slashing backcourt (Brandon Jennings and Derrick Rose) combined with unspectacular big men, Porzingis should enjoy a USG spike and plenty of room to operate. One would assume that the NBA will adjust to his skill set, but when you consider that KP got better as the season progressed last season, it is possible that there is no real answer to a versatile player who stands 7'3". Players that average a double double, block two shots, and make one three pointer on a nightly basis are difficult to find: players with that upside that turned just 21 years old this summer are darn near impossible to come across.
2017 Outlook: As expected, Aldridge's numbers decreased from his high usage days in Portland, but a career-high FG% allowed him to finish third among power forwards in scoring. His front court mate will be Pau Gasol instead of Tim Duncan this season, a trade off that should benefit Aldridge in both the scoring (Gasol topped all centers in assists per game last season) and rebounding departments. Aldridge comes with little to no risk and is in for another rock solid fantasy season.
2017 Outlook: The general public doesn't hesitate to criticize Love, but the fantasy community has been fine with embracing his role as a third option in Cleveland. He's essentially averaging a double double with two triples per game over the last two seasons, something no other player can claim. His increased reliance on the long ball has hurt his FG% and that doesn't seem likely to change, but at this price, that's a minor drawback. His unique skill set allows him to fit into most fantasy rosters, especially those who spent an early pick on players like Hassan Whiteside or John Wall, making him a nice piece addition given his ADP.
2017 Outlook: Few players come to San Antonio and experience a rise in fantasy value, but Gasol should remain the type of consistent and well-rounded contributor that is easy to build around. He is going to be a bigger part of the offense than the legend he's replacing, but it's hard to imagine the Spurs not giving LaMarcus Aldridge more offensive responsibilities given the five year difference in age. The upside will be capped and the minutes may be too, but you can expect Gasol to still churn out double doubles while continuing to be one of the best passing big men of his generation.
2017 Outlook: The rule change in the NBA to prevent intentionally fouling poor free throw shooters has the potential to raise the value of Drummond more than any player in the league, making him a value at his asking price. Consider this: according to our player rater, Drummond value lost via his FT% given his volume was 72.4-percent more than Dwight Howard lost. Want it said a different way? He lost 46.1-percent more value via missed free throws than Steph Curry gained via 3PM. Let that marinate for a minute. You must also consider that less Hack-A-Drummond instances result in more true offensive possessions and thus an uptick in counting numbers for a player who still managed to get off 13 shots a night despite being intentionally fouled with regularity.
2017 Outlook: As with Andre Drummond, owners can expect Jordan to be considerably more valuable with the intentional foul rule change. On a per game basis, his points and field goal attempts have increased with each passing season, which means that if we are looking at fewer free throws, the positive gains from his absurd FG% (70.6-percent over the last two seasons) stand to grow.
2017 Outlook: Any foot injury to a seven-footer is a major concern, but by sitting out the Olympics, Gasol will have had nearly nine months to recover and provide fantasy investors with hope entering the 2017 season. His ceiling isn't a high one, but with reliable percentages and nearly 2.5 blocks-plus-steals per game for his career, you could do much worse if you rostered a risky player with one of your first few picks.
2017 Outlook: For a fifth straight season, his per game averages in minutes, points, and assists all rose while he set new career-highs in steals and free throw percentage. He is in a fantasy friendly spot, as he plays alongside a center in Rudy Gobert that will handle the risky defensive plays around the rim (Favors did block 1.5 shots per game for the fourth consecutive season, but by averaging just 2.4 fouls per game, he was able to stay on the court) without accounting for much of the front court offense. Look for the Jazz to continue to count on Favors, something fantasy owners should feel comfortable in doing as well.